Apple wins big in Consumer Reports survey

Apple's help desk staff had the highest success rate among computer manufacturers

In what is sure to become more fodder for Mac vs. PC ads, Consumer Reports' latest tech-support survey shows that Apple has the best help-desk support for both laptop and desktop systems.

According to the survey, which polled Consumer Reports' subscribers for their experiences with 10,000 desktop and laptop computers, Apple's help desk staff far and away had the highest success rate among computer manufacturers. Apple's tech support team helped their customers solve problems with their computers more than 80 percent of the time. Industry-wide, help-desk teams from all companies solved their customers' problems around 60 percent of the time.

Consumer Reports also singled out Lenovo for its "outstanding" tech support for laptops, and Dell for providing "above average" support for both laptops and desktops. HP and Compaq on the other hand, offered "inferior support" for their computers, according to the survey.

Additionally, the survey ranked the best places and methods for consumers to get help for their computers. In-store walk-in tech support for Macs provided for free in Apple stores offered the most effective troubleshooting, the survey found, with user problems getting solved 90 percent of the time. Another good option is the in-home service offered by companies such as Dell and HP, as 75 percent of users who called for in-home service reported that they experienced no problems during the process, the report said.

Free phone support was more problematic, the report found, as 59 percent of respondents reported having at least one problem when dialing in for tech support. The report also said that consumers should consider using free online forums for help if their computer manufacturer's support is lacking, although it also cautioned that "quality may vary from site to site."

Finally, the survey reported on what consumers said were the best bargains for laptops and desktops. The best laptops to meet "basic needs," said the report, are Lenovo's ThinkPad T61 and R61 models, which respectively sell for US$950 and $870; Toshiba's Satellite A215-S5918, which sells for US$750; and the Dell Inspiron 1525, which goes for US$675.

The best bargains for desktops, meanwhile, include the Lenovo 3000 J200, which sells for US$580; the HP Pavilion m9100t and a6250t models, which respectively sell for US$970 and $825; and Dell's Inspiron 530S, which sells for $860.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brad Reed

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?